Calling in: Strategies for Cultivating Humility and Critical Thinking in Antiracism Education

  • Robin DiAngelo Westfield Sate University 577 Western Ave., Parenzo 206 Westfield, MA 01186 USA
  • Özlem Sensoy Faculty of Education Simon Fraser University 8888 University Drive Burnaby BC Canada, V5A 1S6
Keywords: teaching strategies, anti-racism education, student resistance

Abstract

As educators who teach antiracism education, we seek to interrupt relations of racial inequity by enabling students to identify, name, and challenge the norms, patterns, traditions, structures, and institutions that hold racism and White supremacy in place. In this article, we share three strategies that we have developed out of our own practice as white educators who work in university and community settings, and which have been effective in our antiracism education efforts: The first we call Silence Breakers. This strategy addresses common fears that keep participants – and white participants in particular – on the sidelines in race discussions and in doing so prevent them from engagement; The second are analogies we have developed to help students conceptualize antiracism as a lens of inquiry rather than as something they have to agree or disagree with; And the third strategy are vignettes which are in essence stories that students can relate to but that are not as politically charged as explicit discussions of racism can be. Because they put the student in the protagonist position, these vignettes can unsettle expectations, reduce tensions, and evoke curiosity.

Author Biographies

Robin DiAngelo, Westfield Sate University 577 Western Ave., Parenzo 206 Westfield, MA 01186 USA

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is an Associate Professor of Multicultural Education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Her scholarship is in Whiteness Studies and her research is concerned with the challenges of an increasingly white teaching force and an increasingly diverse student population.She has numerous publications and just released her second book, “What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy. Her previous book: Is Everyone Really Equal: An Introduction to Social Justice Education, co-authored with Özlem Sensoy,  received the 2012 Critics Choice Award by the American Educational Studies Association.

 

Özlem Sensoy, Faculty of Education Simon Fraser University 8888 University Drive Burnaby BC Canada, V5A 1S6
Özlem Sensoy is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, an associate member of the Department of Gender Sexuality and Women's Studies, and an affiliated faculty member with the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures at Simon Fraser University in Canada. She teaches courses on social justice education, critical media literacy and popular culture, and multicultural and anti-racism theories. Her research has been published in journals including Radical Pedagogy, Rethinking Schools, Gender and Education, and Race Ethnicity and Education. You can learn more about her work at www.sfu.ca/~ozlem and follow her @ProfessorOzlem
Published
2014-08-04